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WB keen to finance Dasu hydropower project

Senior representatives of the World Bank have expressed interest in financing Dasu Hydropower Project and given assurances that the appraisal mission for the project will arrive in March-April 2013.

The International Panel of Experts for Dasu Hydropower Project visited Wapda House on Monday and held a meeting to discuss their recommendations on work on the project so far. The meeting, presided over by Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Shah, was attended by senior representatives of the World Bank, project consultants, Wapda members and other senior officers.

According to a Wapda spokesperson, the International Panel of Experts was positive about the progress that Wapda has already made with regard to the Dasu Hydropower Project.

Addressing the meeting, Shah said “the addition of a sizeable quantum of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid is vital not only for mitigating power shortages in the country, but also decreasing dependence on costly imported fuel for electricity generation.”

He said Wapda is simultaneously working on the prioritised 4,500 MW-Diamer Basha Dam Project and 4,320 MW-Dasu Hydropower Project in addition to a number of other projects. Besides initiating construction work on Diamer Basha Dam as soon as possible, Wapda also plans to work on the Dasu Hydropower Project in various stages, he said.

“The recommendations made by the International Panel of Experts are valuable in strengthening technical, environmental and social aspects of the project,” he said. “They will be looked into as per best international practices.”

The detailed engineering design of Dasu Hydropower Project will be finalised by March this year. Shah thanked the World Bank for showing interest in providing funds for the project. “The World Bank has been a reliable partner in the construction of various Wapda projects,” he said.

The Dasu Hydropower Project is proposed to be constructed on River Indus, seven kilometers upstream of Dasu village in the Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On completion the project will contribute approximately 21 billion units of low-cost electricity to the National Grid every year.

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